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Vivien Shelanski

Vivien B. Shelanski, Esq.

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Case Manager
Doug Duzant
T: 212-607-2787
F: 212-228-0222
620 Eighth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Vivien Shelanski has extensive experience as a mediator and arbitrator of complex business and commercial matters involving business torts, contract violations, sales of businesses, covenants not to compete, trade secrets, and related issues. Settings include domestic and international companies in many sectors: financial services, telecommunications, technology, healthcare, entertainment, advertising, and publishing.

Representative Matters

  • General Business
    • Breach of contract action between a terminated supplier and a large financial services organization involving claims of premature termination and lost profits, and counterclaims for breach of contract (chair of three-person arbitration panel)
    • Breach of contract claim by acquirer of international education and training organization alleging false representations and warranties
    • Claim for lost profits by participant in telecommunications joint venture
    • Claim of contract breach for failure to pay severance and stock options to terminated senior executive of offshore financial services company
    • Claims for delays and cost overruns in construction of nuclear power plant
    • Claims for unpaid commissions and wrongful termination by employees of accounting services company
    • Claims of copyright and trademark infringement by designers and manufacturers of specialty apparel, jewelry, and hardware
    • Claims of fraud in sale of land and construction of office facility for use by municipality
    • Claims of securities fraud brought by pension fund investor against issuer of initial public offering
    • Franchise disputes among automotive industry manufacturers and distributors involving business practice issues, chargebacks, warranties, and unpaid commissions  
  • Partnership/Corporate Disputes
    • Acrimonious dispute among sibling shareholders of family corporation about control, management structure, valuation, and future operations
    • Dispute among co-developers of suite of medical offices over control, construction, financing, and responsibility for projected cost overruns and losses
    • Multiple corporate governance disputes among cooperative corporations and shareholders, condominiums and owners, Boards of Directors/Managers, etc.
    • Partnership dissolution dispute over valuation of real estate and value of retiring partner’s practice
  • Listed in Who's Who Legal, in the practice area of Mediation, 2018
  • Co-Editor, The College of Commercial Arbitrators Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration (3rd. Ed.)
  • Elected Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Panel of Mediators, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • Elected Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Lecturer at New York University School of Law
  • Assistant Circuit Executive for Legal Affairs, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Assistant Attorney General, New York State Department of Law, Real Estate Financing Bureau
  • Litigation Attorney, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, and Howard Darby & Levin
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Milton Pollack, United States District Judge, Southern District of New York
  • J.D., with honors, New York University School of Law
  • Ph.D., Philosophy of Science, University of Chicago
  • A.B., with honors, Bryn Mawr College

Counsel Comments

    • "Thank you again for your able assistance yesterday. You are even-handed, which gives you credibility with both sides. That and your skill, experience and perseverance saved both sides from what would have been several more years of labor-intensive litigation."
    • "Just a quick note to thank you for the incredible work you did for us and our clients... The case which for so long has plagued all involved settled largely because of your doggedness, determination, acumen and compassion."
    • "... you had been highly recommeneded to me as a mediator and now I know why. The matter was an extremely difficult one to resolve, and your impressive mediation skills played a large part in its resolution."
    • "[Ms. Shelanski] provided exemplary mediation services in a complex and difficult matter ... On several occasions it appeared that the case was not likely to be settled. Nevertheless, and despite considerable obstacles, Ms. Shelanski persevered and brought the parties to a resolution... No matter how rancorous the mediation became between the parties, Ms. Shelanski remained the consummate professional."
    • "This letter is to thank you on behalf of [institution] for the skill, patience, perserverance, and good judgment you provided in helping settle the dispute with [the opposing parties]. As you know, the time of your service spanned a four month time period. There is no doubt in my mind that your skills as a mediator kept the parties moving forward toward a resolution which would not have been possible but for the highly professional and effective service and provided."
    • "Thank you for your incredible efforts in bringing the parties to an amicable resolution of the... matter. You showed admirable patience and persistence in allowing the parties to bridge the considerable gap that had existed until we met with you... your record of resolving matters that had been thought to be intractable remains unblemished..."
    • "This is just a quick note to thank you for your efforts in the mediation of the [name] matter ... As usual, you were spectacular. I do not see how we could have resolved the matter without you."
    • "No one -- and I mean no one -- is a better mediator (or arbitrator) than Vivien Shelanski. Vivien combines a razor-sharp intellectual intelligence with a keen and thoughtful emotional intelligence that allows her to reach people who really don't want to be reached. In one matter we worked on together over the course of several years, I am totally -- 100% -- convinced that there is not another mediator (or person) on Earth who could have persuaded the parties to resolve the situation at all, much less under an intense time deadline that existed. There are many excellent mediators at JAMS and elsewhere, but very few possess the x-factor that Vivien has that makes her so very effective. She is not an easy person to say no to because she presents things in such a thoughtful way, always taking account of all of the circumstances. I recommend Vivien all the time, and always try to use her on my matters. She is, quite simply, the best."

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